ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sandra Pate remembers the day, May 5, when she first saw her son after he was taken to a hospital.
"Eye out to here and face all swollen, he looked like something from outer space. He was so badly beaten."
Christopher Pate was still emotional as his story was shared Thursday during a news conference held by representatives of the United Christian Leadership Ministry.
Rev. Lewis Stewart says it was a case of mistaken identity.
Pate says he was approached by three police officers at the corner of Fulton Avenue and Bloss Street.
Stewart says Pate produced an identification, but then a second officer demanded he show his ID once again.
It was then that Pate claims he was grabbed, tased, handcuffed and punched, suffering facial fractures and injuries to his jaw and mouth.
"They escalated the incident from talk to violence, to then then officers charged him with trumped-up charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest," Rev. Stewart said.
Those charges were dismissed in city court.
But Pate's attorney Mark Foti says he is moving ahead and has filed a notice of claim regarding a possible lawsuit against the city.
The Rochester Police Department says it began investigating this case several weeks ago and part of the investigation will focus on claims by Rev. Stewart that officers purposely turned off their body worn cameras.
"I don't have all the facts yet about this case but what I can tell you what the policy is, is that the officer upon being dispatched turns their body camera on, but when they're ready to take any type of police action, their cameras are supposed to be on based on the policy,” explained Deputy Chief LaRon Singletary.
"We take these allegations seriously. It's important for us to know what occurred,” he added. “It's important for the public to know what occurred."
For now, the officers in question remain on duty, pending the results of the investigation.
Whatever the outcome, Pate’s mother says this incident has forever changed her son.
“This will be in his life from now on,” she said. “He'll never be the same."